tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC October 5, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
this is "world news." tonight, breakthrough. jobs increase, unemployment down. back where it was four years ago. the president, fired up. >> unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since i took office. >> but what does this really mean for the election and the country? a massive emergency response. tonight, patients calling in, worried they've been injected with meningitis. what it's like to wake up today and wonder if it's you. the sting. brian ross showed you tsa officers stealing your things, right out of your bag. tonight, he gets action. and -- >> bond. james bond. >> the women, the weapons, the wit. >> i think he got the point. >> 50 years after the first one
hit the screen, we have a brand new message tonight from the very first spy we loved. good evening. we begin tonight with american jobs. and a number we have not seen in nearly four years. unemployment, now 7.8%. a surprising dip, dropping after 43 points above 8%. 114,000 new jobs added last month. and with it, 32 days now until the election. and your voice, your vote. abc's david muir is here with us, right now. david? >> reporter: great to see you in person, diane. not only were the jobs numbers a welcome sign for the americans lucky enough to get those jobs, they were very welcome by the president today, fighting to keep his job. and after that debate performance this week, tonight, that spring in his step is back. bounding up to the podium, the
new jobs numbers were more than just a economic jolt, they were a political one. today, the president in the battleground of virginia. >> this morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since i took office. >> reporter: hours later, in the battleground of ohio. >> it's a reminder that this country's come too far to turn back now. >> reporter: today, after nearly four years of unemployment above 8%, what economists called a sharp drop. down to that 7.8%, a psychological benchmark, broken. and a boost for the president, just days after his disappointing debate performance against a challenger who came ready. >> but you've been president four years. >> reporter: for months now, central to mitt romney's stump speech, his lacer focus on unemployment above 8%. >> 40 straight months. not been below 8% for 41. 42. 43 straight months with unemployment. >> reporter: and just as romney travels to florida this weekend, a message from florida's republican governor before romney arrived. the governor tweeting about huge
economic gains there. tampa, st. pete, clearwater and miami area experienced largest unemployment rate declines in the country. a tricky balance for the country, arking voters change course amid an improving picture. romney emphatic it is not going quickly enough. >> the reason it's come down this year primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work. >> reporter: but economists say in this jobs report, that's not entirely the case. some have dropped out, but there's been a surge in the number of baby boomers retiring. and there was more hiring in recent months than first thought. and romney working to win over voters who are out of work. now offering this about those comments he made about the 47%. the americans, he said, he doesn't worry about, those he said he can't convince to take personal responsibility. >> clearly, in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question/answer sessions, now and then you're going to say something that doesn't come out right. in this case, that's just completely wrong. >> reporter: now, all day there's been chatter among well-respected names that this
number now below 8%, just weeks before the election, is, well, suspicious. i asked the romney campaign late today if they believe the numbers are legitimate. one key adviser said they'll leave the speculation to others, that, quote, we'll deal with the numbers, diane, as they've been reported. >> david muir, glad to have you back in from the campaign trail. and amid those questions being asked, we decided to track down some answers. abc's jonathan karl spent the day looking into these new numbers and what they really mean. >> reporter: as soon as the new 7.8% unemployment rate was announced, rush limbaugh and other conservatives said the white house has cooked the books. even jack welch, the former ceo of ge went on twitter to accuse the president of changing the numbers. >> i tell you, these numbers don't smell right when you think about where the economy is right now. >> reporter: the labor department called the allegations ludicrous. we went directly to the place where it's all done. this vast government building, a couple of miles from the white house, houses the labor
department's bureau of labor stay twist icks. the bls has been tabulating the rate for more than 70 years. all based on a survey conducted in person and over the phone of 60,000 households every month. and here is where the numbers get crunched. amid a sea of cubicles, inside of each one, an economist sworn to secrecy and working on a specific aspect of that employment survey. tom is in charge here. he's worked at bls since before ronald reagan was president. he introduced us to the economist who actually wrote this morning's unemployment rate announcement. how much of a secret is that number before you put it out? you can't call me up and tell me -- >> i can't tell anyone. it's a complete secret. >> reporter: before the release, they are literally sworn to secrecy. the white house doesn't see their work until it's done. and tom keeps the report in a safe in his office. you've been working here more than 20 years. have you ever had a situation,
or heard of a situation, where somebody at the white house calls, says, hey, can you move the number a little bit? >> absolutely not, has never happened. >> reporter: could it happen? >> a lot of people would be leaving this building if it did. it would not happen. >> reporter: today, the american enterprise institute, a prominent conservative think tank here in washington dismissed suggestions that the white house interfered with the unemployment number, saying talk like that, quote, should be confined to crazy town. diane? >> all right, jon karl reporting in from washington. and there will be a lot more on all of this, sunday on "this week," george stephanopoulos will break it down with bill o'reilly, james carville and mary mat lynne. and we turn next to the new clues in the mystery surrounding the death of the u.s. ambassador, chris stevens, and three other americans in libya. there is a report that two men from tunisia were held for questioning in turkey. and abc news has a provocative document tonight. it is a request from the americans on the ground in libya for help with protection.
it raises the question about the state department's response and abc's jake tapper shows us that document. >> reporter: the members of the u.s. military serving as security support team at the u.s. embassy in tripoli, libya, wanted to keep a small airplane in the country. according to a government source, that was so the team, changed with providing extra security at diplomatic posts, could travel around the country along with their weapons. but state department officials in washington denied that request, according to a may 3rd e-mail obtained by abc news. copied on the e-mail was u.s. ambassador chris stevens, later killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in benghazi on september 11th, along with three other americans. an attack that has prompted a house oversight committee hearing on whether diplomats in that country had adequate protection. >> we need to operate in a country like libya with erring on the side of security. >> reporter: the dc-3 plane had been sent from iraq for use by the americans in libya at a time
when there were no commercial flights in the country. >> we provide these kinds of services in places where there isn't a commercial airline service in place. >> reporter: but security in the country began deteriorating, with armed gangs, militias and mill tapts. >> there was a constant flow of various and disturbing and escalating security threats that were causing people on the ground to say, "this is not getting safer, this is getting less safe." >> reporter: even after commercial flagts began, the security report team requested that the plane remain in libya. but under secretary of state patrick kennedy, denied the request, and the state department maintains the decision has no bearing on security. this evening, the state department issued a statement, calling this plane issue irrelevant to the issue of what happened at benghazi and there's no evidence that had the plane been there, any lives would have been saved, but critics suggest that the denial by the state department reveals a mindset that was not on top of how bad things were getting in libya and not on top of the security needs of the americans in that
country. diane? >> all right, jake, thank you so much. we move onto a new report tonight about that shootout near the mexican border this week. the one that killed a u.s. border patrol agent. sources now say they suspect that agent, nicholas ivy, was killed by friendly fire. authorities tell abc news ivy and two other american agents, one of whom was wounded, may have accidentally fired at each other in the dark of night. the agents were reacting to a motion sensor that sounded an alert in the arizona desert. and we turn to the growing outbreak of meningitis tonight, contracted there through that common ready for back pain, steroid shots in the spine. today, we learned there are now 47 cases across seven states, at least five deaths. and a lot of people are wondering if they need to be frightened, too. hundreds of calls pouring into health clinics and hospitals. abc's chief medical editor dr. richard besser has answers.
>> reporter: millions of americans get these steroid shots for back pain every year. and today, the fears of tainted injections. >> scared. you don't know what to do now. >> reporter: so, hospitals like this one in tennessee are tracking down hundreds who may be at risk. >> and, you do have several symptoms listed on here. >> reporter: the cdc has opened their emergency operations center today to deal with the outbreak. more than 17,000 vials of the drug were shipped. some contaminated with a fungus that goes into the spinal fluid, up to the brain, and causes a rare formal of meningitis, whose symptoms is look like a stroke. >> to have a shot, six days later, you are fighting for your life. >> reporter: health officials tracked the problem to the new england compounding center in massachusetts, which has closed down operation. there are more than 7,500 compounding pharmacies in the country. they make 1% to 3% of all prescription drugs. and they can be lifesavers. custom mixing their treatments for customers with special
medical needs. but they operate with little federal oversight. >> this sort of contamination of material from a compounding pharmacy has happened before. these compounding pharmacies are not under the rigorous regular supervision of the food and drug administration. >> reporter: and now, patients in pain worried about what to do next. >> i'm not just concerned for me, i'm concerned for many. >> it is oa tense time. what do you do if you need the shot now? >> reporter: thankfully, this was all recalled last week so, if you are in this kind of pain, go ahead and get your treatment. but if you got one of these injections since july, visit our website, see if your clinic was involved. if it was, call your doctor to see if your drug was part of the recall. >> all right. go to the website, check in with dr. richard besser. thank you, rich. and coming up, we showed you tsa steaming your personal items as you go through security. abc's brian ross exposed the story and he's back tonight with
a giant new crackdown. abc news gets action, next. especially in this economy. but with three kids, being home more really helped. man: so we went to fidelity. we talked about where we were and what we could do. we changed our plan and did something about our economy. now we know where to go for help if things change again. call or come in today to take control of your personal economy. get free one-on-one help from america's retirement leader. [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge,
last week, brian ross brought us that groundbreaking investigation, showing tsa officers taking ipads, cameras and other items from your bags at the airport. thousands of you responded after seeing it and tonight, there is action. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross, following up. >> reporter: the tsa is now being asked to do the same thing across the country that abc news did in ten airports, testing the honesty of checkpoint screening officers. traveling incognito, abc news producers left behind ipads at airports with a history of tsa theft to see what would happen. nine out of ten were returned. >> i believe you lost your ipad with us when you flew out today from delta. >> reporter: but a tenth ipad was tracked as it moved 30 miles away, to the home of a tsa officer, andy ramirez, who blamed his wife for taking the
ipad. >> i'm so embarrassed. my wife says she got the ipad and brought it home. >> reporter: ramirez has since been fired by the tsa. and senator chuck schumer wants the tsa to see if there are more officers still stealing. >> and the best way to find them is by random sting operations. >> reporter: the tsa says it has done some stings but only after specific reports of problems. one led to the conviction of this tsa officer in kona, hawaii. dawn keka, who was caught taking $200 in cash out of the backpack of an undercover agent, posing as a japanese tourist. senator schumer says the tsa needs to conduct such stings system-wide. >> so you can find the people before they steal or right at the beginning, if they're stealing. >> reporter: and convicted tsa thief pythias brown told abc news that tsa still has not done enough to make it harder for
people like him to steal. including screening the scree r screeners when they leave their shifts. any kind of a search of the bag? >> no, they never searched our bags. they never searched us. nothing. >> reporter: that's something the tsa is being asked to correct by senator schumer. in written statements, the tsa says the vast majority of its officers are honest, hard working individuals and that the tsa has a zero tolerance policy for theft. but again today, as it has for weeks, the tsa turned down our request to interview the agency head, john pistole, or anyone he would designate, diane. >> all right, brian, but the pressure is on. thank you tonight. coming up next, the story in that tv anchor, criticized for her weight by a viewer. we track down that viewer. >> do you think you're a bully? >> we'll tell you what the anchor is now saying tonight. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok...
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fifth avenue. and a person in the news, royce white, the first round draft pick of the houston rockets. the trouble is, he has an intense fear of flying. he missed the first day of training camp because of it. he's offered to take a bus to away games and says he's seeking treatment for his anxiety. and our quote of the day is, apology accepted. that is what jennifer livingston said today. she is the local news anchor criticized by the viewer who e-mailed her, saying she was not a role model for young girls because of her weight. and that e-mail, her bold response, went viral. >> so, you know nothing about me, but what you see on the outside. >> well, abc news finally tracked down the viewer who wrote her, kevin krause. and last night, he told us, he never meant to hurt her. >> i truly apologize to jennifer. that's the last thing i ever wanted to do. >> he says he's no bully, just a, quote, working stiff, who
once had a weight problem of his own. and, by the way, the anchor, livingston, saw our interview and decided to close the chapter, saying, she's grateful for his apology. and, coming up -- >> bond. james bond. >> on this 50th anniversary of james bond, which is the most memorable scene of all? what's your vote? and we have a new message from the bond who started it all. that was me... the day i learned i had to start insulin for my type 2 diabetes. me... thinking my only option was the vial and syringe dad used. and me... discovering once-daily levemir® flexpen. flexpen® is prefilled. doesn't need refrigeration for up to 42 days. no drawing from a vial. dial the exact dose. inject by pushing a button. flexpen® is insulin delivery... my way. levemir® (insulin detemir [rdna origin] injection) is a long-acting insulin '
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♪ listen up. that is the brand new song for the new bond movie, sung by adele and just released today. and, it is hard to believe it is 50 years since the first james bond appeared on the screen and introduced movie go-ers to a whole new kind of rogue hero. 22 movies later, we decided to look back, with the man who set the standard, sean connery, our "person of the week." >> bond. james bond.
♪ >> sean connery, of the extravagant eyebrow. and what he says is the secret behind every seductive, dangerous move. >> the essence of it, for me, was always to make everything look easy. simple. i don't go to any trouble. to be able to do the dance. >> reporter: he is the man who gave us the most popular hello in any bond film ever. >> who are you? i must be dreaming. >> the man who introduced a whole new way of looking at a laser. >> do you expect me to talk? >> no, mr. bond. i expect you to die. >> not to mention all the technology that seemed impossibly sci-fi then. and from the moment he appeared, every man imagined they had a
little bond inside them, too. >> so many people identified with somebody getting away with all these dollies. the food and a matter of killing, well, you were licensed to kill. >> but in fact, the mythic action figure -- >> i think he got the point. >> was constructed by a kind of committee. the real connery was born in poverty. his mother, a housekeeper. he quit school when he was 13. not only did he change, he changed us. before bond, gin was the number one drink. after him? vodka martinis. >> medium dry martini, lemon peel, shaken, not stirred. >> vodka? >> of course. >> and after he left, so did the cloud of smoke. it won't come again. and so did all that chest hair. chest hair then and now. daniel craig says every single bond who has come and gone and
come and gone knows at the end of the day, they owe it all to him. >> it's the lone hero. and it was sean and it was this magnificent man who, that's the person everybody, every male wanted to be. >> today, connery is age 82 and knows it's always a time when you can use a little trip -- >> oh. >> into fantasy. >> soldiers, sailors, fat guys, thin guys, all the guys, younger guys. i still get stuff sent to me and, you know, notes, sexiest man alive and all that stuff. my name is bond. james bond. >> and so we choose sean connery and we asked if he would send us a message today and he did. and here is what he told us to tell you. "i'm sitting here, reading a great book, thinking how happy i am that someone else gets to